OKIB demands explanation after hunting incident involving conservation officers | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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OKIB demands explanation after hunting incident involving conservation officers

Okanagan Indian Band.
Image Credit: FACEBOOK/Okanagan Indian Band
November 19, 2019 - 6:30 PM

The Okanagan Indian Band has called its lawyers and is asking for a full explanation from the Conservation Officer Service and the RCMP following an incident that involved a complaint about hunting at night on reserve lands.

Details about what took place have not been made public, although the Conservation Officer Service confirmed officers attended the OKIB land following a complaint about hunting at night, Nov. 16.

North Okanagan Conservation Officer Service Sgt Jeff Hanratty confirmed a complaint was received at 4:50 p.m. Nov. 16 from the Westside Road area on band land.

A Nov. 18 social media post from the OKIB stated that the band had been in contact with their lawyers and will be following up on the incident "diligently."

Why the OKIB called its lawyers has not been confirmed, although it appears the incident may have raised questions about the B.C. Conservation Officer Service's legal jurisdiction on band land.

The OKIB social media post stated band council had passed motions requiring band council to connect with the RCMP and the Conservation Officer Service to request a "full explanation" of the events that took place on the reserve.

Hanratty said the B.C. Wildlife Act prohibits hunting one hour after sunset until one hour before sunrise and it was also an offence under the Wildlife Act to hunt with the aid of an illuminating device.

The conservation officer said hunting at night was a public safety issue.

The RCMP confirmed they attended to assist the Conservation Officer Service in their investigation, but offered no other details.

OKIB could not be reached for comment by time of publication.

To contact a reporter for this story, email Ben Bulmer or call (250) 309-5230 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

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